MotoGP: Valentino Rossi Opts For New Crew Chief In 2014

of Italy and Factory Racing. (Photo: Getty Images)

Valentino Rossi’s decision to spilt with long-serving crew chief ends perhaps the most successful collaboration in the history of .

Rossi won his seven premier-class world titles and 80 MotoGP races with Burgess, a former racer from Australia, masterminding the garage operation at three factory teams – Honda, Yamaha and Ducati.

The pair have been together since 2000 when Rossi joined Honda in MotoGP.

The dramatic move, which means Sunday’s Valencia GP will be their final race together, comes as Rossi searches for the motivation that once made him an unbeatable force.

Rossi has won just two races in the three and half years since he broke his leg at Mugello in practice for the Italian GP.

Rossi will be 35 next February and he is increasingly in the shadow of blistering fast and younger rivals Marc Marquez, and Dani Pedrosa. Rossi has scored a string of fourth place finishes this season making him the best of the rest.

Rossi has won just a single race (Dutch TT) this season since returning to Yamaha where Lorenzo is the undisputed number one rider.

“I have decided that for next year I need to try and change something to try and find some new motivation and try to have a new boost to improve my level and my speed,” said Rossi in advance of the Valencia GP.

“I think this is my last race together with Jerry.”

While admitting it was “a very difficult” decision, the spilt with Burgess now thrusts added pressure on Rossi to return to past glories. The spark that once made Rossi and Burgess the most feared combination in MotoGP – apart from their nightmare of two winless years at Ducati – is clearly gone.

Rossi is back on his beloved Yamaha and intends to race again next year with a new crew chief. Surely there can be no more excuses for not challenging for the podium at every race.

“It is not that I am not happy with Jeremy, but next year he will not be my chief mechanic,” Rossi said.

“It was a very difficult decision for me because I have a great history with him. He is not just my chief mechanic but part of my family and my father of racing”

Burgess has accumulated an impressive list of achievements having been crew chief not only for Rossi but for Mick Doohan (5 world titles) and Wayne Gardner (1). Burgess was also a senior technician for Freddie Spencer at Erv Kanemoto’s world championship winning Honda team.

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